Celtic Conclave

Celtic Conclave

Irish dancers and musicians gather at Van Dyck Park.

Saturday’s Irish Festival at Van Dyck Park in Fairfax combined traditional music and dance with a near perfect day for outdoor activities.

“We’ve had about 2,000 people,” said Bob Hickey, chairman of the O’Neill-Malcom branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eirann, an international Irish heritage organization, whose name means “Irish Musicians Association.”

“We want to perpetuate Irish music and dance through these festivals,” Hickey said. “We also have a dance the second Saturday of each month at the [John C. Wood] Center at 7:30 p.m., and people can learn the steps before the dance.”

About 75 performers took to the three stages Saturday afternoon, featuring dancers from two area schools and several musicians on fiddles, pipes, whistles and traditional Celtic instruments like the bodhran and bouzouki.

“I like to see people having a good time,” Hickey said. “We look forward to it getting bigger and better every year, maybe getting some big-name performers to come out with us.”